No Single Facet of Suicidality Among People with Autism Has Been Extensively Researched

Individuals with ASD Report Being Excluded from Services and Not Believed by Professionals

A shocking new policy brief from the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) unveils the “hidden crisis” of suicide in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In their report, INSAR reveals that people with autism are seven times more likely to die by suicide and are six times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. They also report that the risk of suicide is greater for people with ASD without intellectual disability and among women on the spectrum. In fact, women with ASD are 13 times more likely than non-affected women to die by suicide. INSAR’s brief points out that numerous barriers exist that prevent individuals on the spectrum at risk for suicide from getting the attention, treatment and support they need. These barriers include a lack of evidence-based assessment tools and interventions to identify and treat suicidal thoughts and behaviors, a lack of access to mental health services and exclusion from conversations about policies and guidelines that affect people with autism.

To remedy this hidden crisis of suicide and autism, INSAR advocates for removing barriers to mental health services. The organization sees this as the most important issue facing those with autism. INSAR makes the following suggestions to remove these barriers by:

Original Policy Brief

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